Sunday 18 February 2018

Our rush to judgement on Ian Bailey must be examined

A sworn inquiry is required to resolve the controversy surrounding the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, writes Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

WE'VE HAD 17 years of whispering, accusations, mischief-making and questionable police work. The handling of the issues surrounding the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has undermined the credibility not just of the police, but of the wider justice system.

The suspect in the case, Ian Bailey, has had his life destroyed. Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family has been left twisting in the wind. The case casts a shadow over the Garda Siochana. The media bought into the garda story, with predictable consequences. Neither the Irish nor the French legal systems have covered themselves in glory.

The murder, at Christmas time in 1996, was brutal. There was the added upset that a French woman visiting her West Cork holiday home for Christmas had been killed -- undermining the area's reputation for welcoming outsiders. The police had a job to do, the victim deserved justice, the reputation of the area needed protection.

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